Terrific Broth

The life of two scientists, creating a small home, in big mountains

Category: Furnishing and Decor (Page 1 of 4)

Cozy Up for Winter

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Coming into November, we welcomed our second winter in Colorado.

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We moved to Colorado for the snow. And it does not disappoint. We watched so many snow falls from our little ranch, and skied the best powder and most beautiful mountains we’ve ever seen.

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Although beautiful, Colorado’s winter is also cold. With the walls painted white and few furniture pieces, our living space did not feel cozy.

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I am not good at decorating. I can make a room sterile-clean, and super organized, but when it comes to making it cozy and inviting, I really struggle.

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This is how our living room looked over most of this year. Hanging art helped, but did not make the rooms come alive. 2018 is the year of improving our living space. Before the year ends, I set my mind on making our living room cozy for the winter.

The first order of business was to get a new rug. The green IKEA rug had served us well, but was way too small for this room. The pine flooring we discovered under the decade-old carpet is covered with old paint sprays. Before we have time to refinish the floor, we need a much bigger rug to cover the defects.

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Luckily, Slav has much better taste on rugs and is uncharacteristically decisive on his pick. Below are the lucky winners:

The Persian rug for the living room:

The Bohemian rug for Slav’s office:

LR Home Fusion Bohemian Oriental Black/ Blue Olefin Rug - 7'9" x 9'5"

Ordering rugs online felt risky, but when they came in, we were happy with their quality. The color in person is vibrant and the rugs themselves are plush. We bought the living room rug in 9″ x 12″, and it completely changed how our living room feels.

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The dogs love the rugs too. Charlie claimed his spot as soon as we unrolled the living room rug, before Slav even finished vacuuming:

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And he stayed on it for the rest of the day.

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While Roxie prefers a good chair, Charlie is a always a spreading-out-on-the-floor kind of dog. It is important to us that Charlie enjoys the rug.

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I used to shy away from feminine colors and usually stayed with black, white, and grey. But the large area of subtle pink on this rug grounds the room without making it look like a teen’s dorm. I love it.

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The second rug now lives in the adjacent room, Slav’s office.

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I adore the intense yellow color on this rug. This specific shade of yellow was widely used in old oriental rugs and represents significance and honor, especially when combined with black. This rug brings back so much taste of home.

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Do you love it too? It is amazing that pieces this colorful could make a space feel cozy, but not busy.

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Besides soft things, I also added a few more plants.

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My favorite is this Pothos plant.

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It is now hanging in our kitchen with a Macrame plant hanger.

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I also acquired some lights and threaded them in between the plants. They created beautiful shadows on the ceiling and are just perfect mood lighting for the room.

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Room by room, we’ve been upgrading the ceiling lights. The whole house came with the classic “nipple” lights, and they have been replaced with prettier, brighter, and more efficient LED lighting. But finding the perfect overhead light for this little hallway has been a struggle.

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We got this LED warm-light from Costco for a pretty reasonable price. Slav mounted it on in 15 minutes.

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It was perfect – it is much shorter and no longer distract the eyes from the painting on the wall. It is also bigger in diameter and fills the space with warm light.

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The new living space makes us smile every time we walk into the house. Seeing Roxie and Charlie napping on the new rugs also makes our hearts sing. After all, it is our loved ones that make a house home.

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Just like this, we cozy up for winter. We hope you are enjoying the warmest holiday weekend with your family. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

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The Art We Adore

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It has been a couple weeks since we painted the main floor. We took a much-needed break and celebrated our 5-year anniversary and Slav’s birthday. Let me tell you, I feel like a million bucks. Without unfinished tasks on sight, I can finally relax without constantly thinking about what to do next. Lessons learned – better not to live in the space we renovate!

Of course we still have a few things to do for our living space, including refinishing the floor and replacing a few windows. But freshly painted walls have improved the living space so much that I already feel like decorating. So the past weekend, I finally unpacked the frames and art that have been sitting in moving boxes since our move 17 months ago.

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I made this little “less house, more home” art year ago. I had just moved across the country and into my own 1000 sqft apartment. It was my first time furnishing a space, which really got me thinking about my own style of home. It was also around the time that I started reading about minimalism. This quote really stuck with me since.

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This anatomy art is my favorite and I got it for $4 from a thrift store in North Carolina! Best. thrift. find. ever.

Above the sofa hung our cow art. These are 99 cents IKEA cows decorated by our friends and family. We adore them.

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At the living room corner is a painting from a Polish artist and a family friend, Adam Faglio. We love his paintings of landscape, which are often based on sceneries of Slav’s hometown.

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Next to the living room thermostat are two more arts from Slav’s hometown. On the left is the castle, which is a landmark of Slav’s hometown and a local’s favorite. And to the right is the same castle in sunset from distance. This castle is quite significant to Slav and his family. Not only Slav grew up playing there, his parents also fell in love while working on a restoration project of the castle in their early 20s.

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In Slav’s office there is another framed art picturing Slav’s hometown. See the castle in the background? Slav definitely has a thing for it.

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Slav also has a thing for cute animals. Several posters and greeting cards in IKEA frames make a gallery wall in his office.

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On either side of the new office doorway I hung a pair of art which we bought when visiting Portland, OR in 2014. They were hung on either side of our bed in our North Carolina apartment.

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In the little hall way to the bedroom, we hung a simple, snowy village art we got also from our Portland trip. I love the calm and peaceful vibe it gives.

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Another painting from our favorite Polish painter dominated the bedroom. Yes you are looking at the castle again!

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Winter castle.

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On the night stands are two Chinese paper cutting arts of our zodiac animal signs. I am a ram and Slav is a dog.

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Also hung in our bedroom are a set of framed art we bought during our first visit to Denver in 2016. They were shipped to North Carolina and now are back to Denver again.

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Our wedding photo is hung between the his-and-her closets. This is the only photo of us (or in fact, people) that we have in the house.

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I had a bit fun with the kitchen gallery wall. The pencil art of lady with teddy bear is another thrift find and all the old kitchen art were purchased from a North Carolina artist.

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This is not an impressive collection by any means – in fact, most of the art are thrifted. But I love the memories and feelings they bring out, which make a house ours and home. I am happy to see them on the walls again!

 

Finally, Painted

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13 months after moving into our house, our living space is finally painted!!!

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Our walls and ceiling were all “white” to begin with, but the old paint reads very yellow in all the rooms and just feels outdated. The Extra White we chose is the true white color in SW. It reads a bit cool but not sterile, and brings a bit of modern feel into this old house.

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All the walls got Sherwin-Williams Extra White in Eggshell, and all the ceilings went for the same color in flat.

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We used Behr Ultra Pure White in semi-gloss on all the trims and doors throughout the main floor. Although both being white, the different sheens made the trims really pop next to the walls.

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The bedroom feels bigger with the crisp white paint:

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We painted inside the closet a lovely pink (Behr Pale Bud). I think it looks great with the bright white trims and soft grey curtains.

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Our walls were textured and it took Slav several weeks to smooth all the walls with joint compound as well as patch nail holes. Needless to say that this process produced lots of dust. It feels so good to have the house dust-free again and all the furniture uncovered.

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The puppies are more than pleased to have their favorite spots back.

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We decided at the last minute to upgrade all the wallplates, light switches, and receptacles. Not only the old ones have yellowed overtime, they were also covered with layers of paint. The screwless ones bring this house to 21 century.

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We replaced the old and dingy air duct covers shortly after we moved in. Now with freshly painted walls and new wall plate, our place feels so so upgraded.

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We used the last bit of wall paint in our kitchen. After removing some upper cabinets, we lived with a cabinet-shape yellow portion of unfinished drywall. A quick layer of white paint got rid of a major eyesore:

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And all the receptacles in the kitchen were upgraded as well:

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It feels so nice to be able to look around and see crisp white everywhere.

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Getting the place painted made a huge difference on how the main floor feels. It is a lot brighter and feels clean. Now it is finally time for flowers and art!

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Next week is our wedding anniversary and it is a big relief to finish painting before the big day. We have several fun activities lined up and I will be sure to come back to report! But first, we kick back in our bright and fresh living space, and enjoy some cut flowers and herb drinks from our own garden. Happy summer!

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